Epic Games, makers of Fortnite, indicated something big would occur on June 30th at 1:30 PM, Eastern Time. Players who were in a match at that time got to witness the event for themselves, gathering in droves to watch as the sky cracked in Epic's colorful online battlefield.
If you missed the action or you still have questions about what exactly took place during the dramatic live rocket launch event, we’ve collected everything we know so far in one place.
How did the Fortnite rocket launch start?
Players had found an idle rocket on the map in the area northeast of Snobby Shores that wasn’t there in the previous season. It seemed to be preparing to launch and Epic’s reference to 1:30 PM was a clear signal that this was going to be the launch time. It would be a one-time-only event that players would need to log into a match to see live.
What happened when the countdown hit zero?
The events that take place are a little bizarre and chaotic, so we’ll do our best to describe them. At first, a large rocket slowly ascends into the night sky from a launch pad located in a mountain northeast of Snobby Shores. After a few seconds it seems to engage high-powered thrusters that increase its speed dramatically as the first stage of the rocket can be seen jettisoned off and landing back to earth around Anarchy Acres. The rocket disappears out of view accompanied by a peculiar sound.
Shortly after, a point of light appears in the sky, growing brighter and revealing itself to be another rocket, possibly the same one that just launched. The same sounds are heard when the first rocket disappeared and a loud female voice speaks some numbers and then the words “setting coordinates”. The rocket projects a beam of red light down onto the ground above Tilted Towers, which was heavily rumored to be destroyed at the beginning of this season. It speeds toward the ground and vanishes in a violent explosion. Tilted Towers is left standing.
Then, off on the horizon, a deep crackling sound is heard as the sky splits open and the rocket shoots out of the crack, races across the sky and disappears into another crack in the sky. Finally, the rocket reappears one last time from another crack, this time located above Loot Lake just north of Tilted Towers, flies upward and explodes spectacularly above the center of the map, leaving behind a massive, glowing, improbable crack in the sky.
What did any of that mean?
Right now, the going theory is that this has something to do with time travel and space travel. The cracks in the sky could be wormholes that the same rocket from the initial launch kept flying through. It could also have something to do with alien technology or an alien arrival.
What if I missed it, will the launch be repeated?
It doesn’t look like this event will be repeated. If you missed it live, you’ll have to rely on descriptions like ours and YouTube videos to know what happened on June 30th.
Has anything changed in the game?
Initially nothing seemed to have changed except for the massive crack in the sky that’s still present in all games. But as more time passed, players began noticing this crack is widening, little by little. People have also found new cracks at ground level in places like Anarchy Acres (where the rocket booster fell) and Lonely Lodge, and they too appear to be widening.
What’s going to happen next?
It’s anyone’s guess at this point what these events mean for Fortnite players, but if the past is any indication we could be looking at hints of things to come in the next season. Players have been treated to an alien-themed cutscene when logging into Fortnite for the last few weeks, so a sci-fi live event is very fitting.
It could mean more dramatic changes to the map, it could be hinting at a brand new map or even new game modes. We’ve already gotten a ton of new space-themed gear to unlock in this season’s Battle Pass, so Epic Games is definitely building the meta narrative in a certain direction.
However, the rocket launch event has opened the door for similar live events that players need to be in-game to witness. If you’re kicking yourself for having missed out, start paying extra close attention to any Fortnite news because it’s very possible another event like this one will happen in the future.